9 DIY Ways to Improve Your Mental Health

By Stephanie Pappas, Live Science Contributor

9 DIY Ways to Improve Your Mental HealthLet’s be upfront: Sometimes, achieving better mental health requires professional help. People may need a therapist, or even medication, to deal with disorders like depression or anxiety.

But those serious diagnoses aside, we could all do with a little brain tune-up. Fortunately, science has some suggestions for how to overcome personality quirks or unhealthy patterns of thinking that leave people functioning less than optimally.

Here are some things that studies have found may improve people’s mental health:

1. Set goals, but don’t take failure personally

Most people are at least a little bit of a perfectionist in some area of life. Aiming high can be the first step to success, but studies have found that high levels of perfectionism are linked to poor health and increase the risk of death. Perfectionism is also linked to postpartum depression.

The problem is that perfectionism has two facets: Perfectionists tend to set high goals for themselves, but they also tend to worry about it if they fail to reach extreme levels of performance. The high goals are not the problem as much as the so-called “perfectionist concerns,” or feelings of failure and worthlessness that come with falling short of reaching them, which can wreak havoc on mental health.

The trick to getting around this perfectionism trap might be to set goals without taking failure personally, said Andrew Hill, a sports psychologist at York St. John University in England.

One strategy, Hill told Live Science in August 2015, is for perfectionists to set small, manageable goals for themselves rather than one big goal. That way, failure is less likely, and so is the self-recrimination that can keep a perfectionist down. In other words, perfectionists should force themselves to think about achieving success in degrees, rather than in all-or-nothing terms.

2. Go outside

The indoor environment protects us from heat, cold and all manner of inclement weather. But if you don’t get outside frequently, you might be doing a number on your mental health.

A June 2015 study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science found that spending 90 minutes walking in nature can decrease brain activity in a region called the subgenual prefrontal cortex. This area is active when we’re ruminating over negative thoughts. Walking alongside a busy road didn’t quiet this area, the researchers found.

This latest study is only one of many that suggest that spending time outdoors is good for the mind. A 2010 study in the journal Environmental Science & Technology found that 5 minutes in a green space can boost self-esteem. In a 2001 study published in the journal Environment and Behavior, time in green space even improved ADHD symptoms in kids compared with time spent relaxing indoors — for example, watching TV.

3. Meditate

Meditation may look like the person is sitting around, doing nothing. In fact, it’s great for the brain.

A slew of studies have found that meditation benefits a person’s mental health. For example, a 2012 study in the journal PLOS ONE found that people who trained to meditate for six weeks became less rigid in their thinking than people with no meditation training. This suggests that meditation might help people with depression or anxiety shift their thoughts away from harmful patterns, the researchers suggested.

Other studies on meditation suggests that it literally alters the brain, slowing the thinning of the frontal cortex that typically occurs with age and decreasing activity in brain regions that convey information about pain. People trained in Zen meditation also became more adept at clearing their minds after a distraction, a 2008 study found. As distracting and irrelevant thoughts are common in people with depression and anxiety , meditation might improve those conditions, the researchers said.

4. Exercise

Next we’ll tell you to eat your vegetables, right? (You should, by the way.) It’s not fancy advice, but moving your body can benefit your brain. In fact, a 2012 study in the journal Neurology found that doing physical exercise was more beneficial than doing mental exercises in staving off the signs of aging in the brain.

That study used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to scan the brains of Scottish participants in their early 70s. Among the 638 participants, those who reported walking or doing other exercises a few times a week showed less brain shrinkage and stronger brain connections than those who didn’t move. People who did mentally stimulating activities such as chess or social activities didn’t show those kinds of effects.

Exercise can even be part of the treatment for people with serious mental disorders. A 2014 review in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry found that physical activity reduces the symptoms of depression in people with mental illness, and even reduced symptoms of schizophrenia. A 2014 study in the journal Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica found that adding an exercise program to the treatment plan for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) reduced patients’ symptoms and improved their sleep.

5. Be generous in your relationships

A giving relationship is a happy relationship, according to a 2011 study published in the Journal of Marriage and Family. In the study, couples with children who reported high levels of generosity with one another were more satisfied in their marriages and more likely to report high levels of sexual satisfaction.

Moreover, studies show that keeping a committed relationship strong can be a big boon for your mental health. People in the early stages of a marriage or a cohabitating relationship experience a short-term boost in happiness and a drop in depression, according to a 2012 study published in the Journal of Marriage and Family. And among same-sex couples, the official designation of marriage appears to boost psychological functioning over domestic partnerships (though domestic partnerships provided a boost, too).

Being generous in nonromantic relationships can provide a direct mental health boost, too. A 2013 study in the American Review of Public Administration found that people who prioritized helping others at work reported being happier with life 30 years later.

6. Use social media wisely

In general, having social connections is linked to better mental health. However, maintaining friendships over Facebook and other social media sites can be fraught with problems. Some research suggests that reading other people’s chipper status updates makes people feel worse about themselves — particularly if those other people have a large friend list, which may lead to a lot of showing off. Those findings suggest that limiting your friend list to people who you feel particularly close to might help you avoid seeing a parade of peacocking status updates from people who seem to have perfect lives.

Time on social networking sites has been linked to depressive symptoms, though it’s not clear whether the mental health problems or the social media usage comes first. A study presented in April 2015 at the annual conference of the British Sociological Association found that social media is a double-edged sword: People with mental health conditions reported that social media sites offered them feelings of belonging to a community, but also said that Facebook and other sites could exacerbate their anxiety and paranoia.

The best bet, researchers say, is to take advantage of the connectivity conferred by social media, but to avoid making Facebook or Twitter your entire social life.

“You have to be careful,” University of Houston psychologist Linda Acitelli told Live Science in 2012.

7. Look for meaning, not pleasure

Imagine a life of lounging by a pool, cocktail in hand. When you aren’t sunning yourself, you’re shopping for cute clothes or planning your next party.

Paradise? Not so much. A 2007 study found that people are actually happier in life when they take part in meaningful activities than when they focus on hedonism. University of Louisville researchers asked undergrads to complete surveys each day for three weeks about their daily activities. They also answered questions about their happiness levels and general life satisfaction.

The study, published in the Journal of Research in Personality, found that the more people participated in personally meaningful activities such as helping other people or pursuing big life goals, the happier and more satisfied they felt. Seeking pleasure didn’t boost happiness.

8. Worry (some), but don’t vent

Everyone’s had the experience of worrying about something they can’t change. If constant worrying becomes a pervasive problem, though, science suggests you should just put it on the calendar.

Scheduling your “worry time” to a single, 30-minute block each day can reduce worries over time, according to a study published in July 2011 in the Journal of Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics. Patients in the study were taught to catch themselves worrying throughout the day and then postpone the worries to a prearranged block of time. Even just realizing that they were worrying helped patients calm down, the researchers found, but stopping the worrying and saving it for later was the most effective technique of all.

Venting about stresses, however, appears to make people feel worse about life, not better. So set aside that worry time — but do it silently.

9. Learn not to sweat the small stuff

Daily irritations are part of life, but they can also wear us down. In a 2013 study in the journal Psychological Science, researchers used two national surveys to look at the influence of minor annoyances on people’s mental health. They found surprisingly strong links.

The more negatively people responded to small things like having to wait in traffic or having arguments with a spouse, the more anxious and distressed they were likely to be when surveyed again 10 years later, the researchers reported.

“It’s important not to let everyday problems ruin your moments,” study researcher Susan Charles, a psychologist at the University of California, Irvine, said in a statement when the research was released. “After all, moments add up to days, and days add up to years.”

Follow Stephanie Pappas on Twitter and Google+. Follow us@livescience, Facebook & Google+. Original article on Live Science.

Related Online CEU Courses:

Anxiety: Practical Management Techniques is a 4-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that offers a collection of ready-to-use anxiety management tools that can be used in nearly all clinical settings and client diagnoses.

Depression is a 1-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that provides an overview to the various forms of depression, including signs and symptoms, co-existing conditions, causes, gender and age differences, and diagnosis and treatment options.

Eliminating Self-Defeating Behaviors is a 4-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that teaches you how to identify, analyze and replace self-defeating behaviors with positive behaviors.

Nutrition in Mental Health & Substance Abuse is a 3-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that discusses how good nutrition impacts a person’s mental health and well being.

Professional Development Resources is approved to offer continuing education by the American Psychological Association (APA); the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC); the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB); the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA); the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA); the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR); the California Board of Behavioral Sciences; the Florida Boards of Social Work, Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy, Psychology & School Psychology, Dietetics & Nutrition, Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, and Occupational Therapy Practice; the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board; the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs; and by theTexas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists and State Board of Social Worker Examiners.

New HIV CEU Course for SLPs

By Laura More, MSW, LCSW and Edie Deane-Watson, MS, CCC-A, CCM

HIV/AIDS: Adherence Issues

1-Hour Online CE Course

HIV/AIDS: Adherence Issues is a new 1-hour online continuing education course approved for 0.1 ASHA CEUs.

HIV affects people of all ages, from children born to mothers with HIV, to adolescents, to adults, and elders. Unlike other viruses, the body cannot remove HIV completely. Once a person has HIV, it is there for life. The quality – and quantity – of that life will depend on adherence with treatment. People who live with HIV can live almost normal lifespans and have little risk of transmitting the disease if they use antiretroviral therapy appropriately under medical care. However, only 30% of HIV-infected people follow their antiretroviral regimen well enough to achieve viral suppression. HIV/AIDS: Adherence Issues will discuss adherence issues in populations at high risk for HIV infection, as well as strategies for healthcare professionals to encourage patients to seek and maintain medical treatment. Course #10-88 | 2015 | 17 pages | 10 posttest questions

CE INFORMATION:

ASHA-Approved Provider

This course is offered for .1 ASHA CEUs (Introductory level, Professional area).

ASHA credit expires 5/25/2018. ASHA CEUs are awarded by the ASHA CE Registry upon receipt of the quarterly completion report from the ASHA Approved CE Provider. Please note that the date that appears on ASHA transcripts is the last day of the quarter in which the course was completed. Professional Development Resources is also approved by the Florida Board of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology and is CE Broker compliant (courses are reported within one week of completion).

This online course provides instant access to the course materials (PDF download) and CE test. After enrolling, click on My Account and scroll down to My Active Courses. From here you’ll see links to download/print the course materials and take the CE test (you can print the test to mark your answers on it while reading the course document).

Successful completion of the online CE test (80% required to pass, 3 chances to take) and course evaluation are required to earn a certificate of completion. Click here to learn more.

* This course is required for initial licensure of Florida Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists.

 

 

Growing your Practice with Technology

By Marlene M. Maheu, PhD, from Ethics & Risk Management: Expert Tips VII

Vague Standards, Guidelines, Laws Create Telepsychology Risks

As a psychologist who’s been researching/writing/practicing/consulting/training online for years, I’m often asked, “Where can psychologists get guidance and training for practicing online?”

Vague Standards, Guidelines, Laws Create Telepsychology RisksJust as frequently, I encounter well-intentioned, ethical colleagues who blithely undertake an online practice without considering their legal and ethical obligations or competencies. In hopes of helping readers avoid many potential landmines, I’ll outline how current guidelines, ethical standards and state regulations can be used to help you avoid trouble and reap long-term benefits of growing your practice with technology.

Professional Guidelines

A joint task force of representatives of the American Psychological Association, the American Psychological Association Insurance Trust and the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards has developed telepsychology guidelines.

Guidelines developed by other professional associations can be of benefit to psychologists, but state regulations and guidelines of licensure also must be taken into consideration.

Despite the proliferation of health care technology in the last two decades, including the Internet, many professional associations have struggled to allocate the needed resources to develop clear and timely practice standards or guidelines. Even when they have been clear, many fail to address the current range of technology used in behavioral practice.

Vague Standards, Guidelines, Laws Create Telepsychology RisksFor instance, they might refer to telecommunication technologies for direct care, but neglect the rapid expansion of services delivered as psycho-educational products online, text messaging, virtual reality, robotics, mobile health (mhealth) such as “apps” used with smart devices and other areas.

Some associations are making significant progress; others have barely begun. A number of psychologists are attempting to form a new APA division to address the growing areas that need to be expanded in the definition of psychology and grow the association with vibrant new ideas and enthusiasm.

See the many areas of focus addressed by the proposed Society for Technology and Psychology (http://stp-apa.net) and consider how they are changing traditional in-person care. (Support this movement by signing the petition for inclusion in the APA.)

Even though technology may be outstripping the abilities of professional associations to “keep up,” associations have a responsibility to “catch up.” While many countries are far ahead of the U.S.-based professional associations in both the timeliness and scope of their standards, guidelines or statements of best practice, the following are available online for the psychologist looking for immediate guidance:


For a regularly updated list of currently published standards, guidelines and best practices in behavioral telehealth and telemental health, see Telemental Health Standards, Guidelines and Statements: http://telehealth.org/ethical-statements.

Keep Up On State Laws, Regulations

Despite the best research on recommended standards for the use of technology in psychology, practitioners must also carefully consider the strictures of state licensing regulations.

Licenses are awarded by states and therefore their scopes of practice are defined by the specific states(s) of licensure. Federal laws exempt military and federal government practitioners but otherwise state licensing laws define professional work. From one state to another, laws and regulations can differ substantially, be contradictory or outdated in terms of application to online practice. A number of states are working on updating regulations but they are moving forward in a hodgepodge and piecemeal manner rather than a unified plan. Potential penalties for violating licensing laws include fines, community service, public humiliation or suspension of licensure. In some states, certain laws can be considered “criminal offenses” and lead to the forfeiture of malpractice benefits. Examples include insurance fraud or treating a client in a state where the psychologist is not licensed.

Many psychologists fail to understand that being licensed in one state does not grant them the right to practice in another state or the repercussions of making such uninformed decisions. For example, Vermont and Utah carry $5,000 fines for practicing in their states without a license. Disengaging from treatment with remote clients after learning of such regulatory laws can also create thorny clinical dilemmas.

Role of Professional Associations

In addition to other benefits, professional associations can try to intervene to influence state law. They also typically develop and publish ethical standards and guidelines that not only require that a practitioner adhere to state and federal law but the association’s own rules. Ethical standards are the most stringent and are mandatory. They outline appropriate behavior and set the bar for membership.

For professional associations and practitioners alike, keeping abreast of technological demands is important because an existing set of standards, whether outdated or current, creates a standard of due care.

This Standard in Turn Helps Define Malpractice

Similarly, if professionals do not adhere to standards accepted by their national association, they may be responsible for malpractice in tort. Therefore, it is incumbent upon the elected and staff leaders of professional associations to allocate the needed resources to develop adequate standards and guidelines to protect practitioners in a timely manner. The penalty for failing to adhere to a set of standards is most often censorship or removal from the association.

Guidelines, on the other hand, are aspirational and therefore not required. They usually involve a distillation of the relevant literature and provide guidance in the form of suggestions. But, in many states aspirational guidelines by psychological association are incorporated by reference into licensing regulations and have a long history of being used by prosecutors to establish negligence on the part of practitioners.

Professionals, then, may want to be mindful of and carefully document any departure from both standards and guidelines issued by professional associations. If they don’t agree with standards or guidelines as promulgated by any professional association, they can work within the association to change them or leave the association.

The Challenge

Practitioners attempting to operate innovative technology-based programs within the bounds of vague or outdated ethical standards and guidelines are at risk of being at a distinct disadvantage before an equally vague or outdated licensing board or jury. Unclear standards, guidelines and regulatory law leave the innovative practitioner with many opportunities but not enough direction. Formal professional training is warranted to help forward-thinking psychologists access the strong evidence base that reflects reliable approaches to risk management.

Ethics and Risk Management: Expert Tips VII is a 3-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that addresses a variety of ethics and risk management topics in psychotherapy practice in the form of 22 archived articles from The National Psychologist and is intended for psychotherapists of all specialties.

Professional Development Resources is approved to offer continuing education by the American Psychological Association (APA); the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC); the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB); the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA); the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA); the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR); the California Board of Behavioral Sciences; the Florida Boards of Social Work, Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy, Psychology & School Psychology, Dietetics & Nutrition, Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, and Occupational Therapy Practice; the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board; the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs; and by the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists and State Board of Social Worker Examiners.

Institute of Medicine Releases Report on Cognitive Aging

From the National Institute on Aging

Institute of Medicine releases report on cognitive agingA new report from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) calls for increased research on assessing and maintaining cognitive health in older adults. The report, Cognitive Aging: Progress in Understanding and Opportunities for Action, released April 14, 2015, also suggests that some interventions for healthy aging—exercise, reducing risk of cardiovascular disease, and regular discussions with health professionals about medications and chronic conditions—be promoted to help maintain cognitive health. A third area of focus among the report’s 10 recommendations is aimed at the conduct and dissemination of independent reviews and guidelines for products claiming to affect cognitive health. The IOM report and its recommendations follow deliberations of a panel convened by the IOM with support from the McKnight Brain Research Foundation, AARP, the Retirement Research Foundation, the National Institute on Neurological Disorders and Stroke and the National Institute on Aging (NIA) of the NIH, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The goal was to examine the public health dimensions and state of knowledge of cognitive aging.

NIA maintains an active research portfolio in cognitive aging and provides a number of resources for the public and health care professionals in this area. Among these are:

  • Understanding Memory Loss: This easy-to-read booklet explains the difference between mild forgetfulness and more serious memory problems; describes the causes of memory problems and how they can be treated; and discusses how to cope with serious memory problems
  • List of Current NIA-Funded Age-Related Cognitive Decline Clinical Trials: This list of ongoing clinical trials contains links to information about trials, the trial location, and who to contact for additional information.
  • Brain Health Resource: This presentation toolkit offers current, evidence-based information and resources to facilitate conversations with older people about brain health. Designed for use at senior centers and in other community settings, it contains a PowerPoint presentation, an educator guide, handouts, and a resource list. Materials are written in plain language and explain what people can do to help keep their brains functioning best as they age.

 

Source: http://www.nia.nih.gov/research/announcements/2015/04/institute-medicine-releases-report-cognitive-aging

Related Online Continuing Education (CE/CEU) Courses for Healthcare Professionals:

Biology of Aging: Research Today for a Healthier Tomorrow is a 2-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that introduces some key areas of research and looks ahead to the future, as today’s research provides the strongest hints of things to come.

Aging: The Unraveling Self is a 3-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that examines the biological, social, and psychological aspects of aging.

Professional Development Resources is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Professional Development Resources maintains responsibility for all programs and content. Professional Development Resources is also approved by the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC); the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB); the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA); the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA); the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR); the California Board of Behavioral Sciences; the Florida Boards of Social Work, Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy, Psychology & School Psychology, Dietetics & Nutrition, Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, and Occupational Therapy Practice; the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board; the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs; and by theTexas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists and State Board of Social Worker Examiners.

Talking with Your Older Patient: A Clinician’s Handbook

New 2-Hour Online CE Course

Talking with Your Older Patient: A Clinician’s Handbook

Click on image to view course details

Advising an older man about starting an exercise program . . . counseling a woman about the proper way to take her osteoporosis medication . . . discussing end-of-life care options with the family of a long-time older patient who is dying. These are just some examples of the complex and sensitive issues facing clinicians who treat older people. Health care providers who communicate successfully with older patients may gain their trust and cooperation, enabling everyone to work as a team to handle physical and mental health problems that might arise. Effective communication techniques, like those discussed in this handbook, can save time, increase satisfaction for both patient and practitioner, and improve the provider’s skill in managing the care of his or her patients. Ongoing communication is key to working effectively with your older patient. If a patient does not follow recommendations or starts missing appointments, explore whether or not a difficulty in communication has developed. Paying attention to communication increases the odds of greater health for your patient and satisfaction for you both.

This course provides general advice for health and mental health professionals for working with older patients, their families, and their caregivers, based on a publication from the National Institute on Aging. Topics include being aware of perceptions about health care, understanding older patients, obtaining medical histories, encouraging wellness, talking about sensitive subjects, supporting patients with chronic conditions, breaking the bad news, working with diverse older patients, working with families and caregivers, talking with patients about cognitive problems, and keeping the door open to effective communications. The booklet also includes references to other useful publications and services for the elderly that can be used for referral purposes, including hotlines for obtaining information about assistance with caregiving, daily living, finances, health, household matters, nutrition, social support, transportation, and utilities. This course is intended for clinicians who would like an introduction to the skills of communicating with the elderly, or who would like to improve the skills they already have. Course #20-60 | 2008 | 66 pages | 15 posttest questions

Learning Objectives:

  1. Identify common stereotypes about aging and ways to combat ageism
  2. Identify techniques for discussing difficult issues such as cognitive problems and delivering bad news
  3. List tips for promoting wellness among elderly patients, including exercise and nutrition
  4. Describe strategies for supporting patients with chronic conditions
  5. Identify the role of multicultural issues on patient’s attitudes towards medicine
  6. Describe important issues concerning the involvement of family and caregivers in medical discussions

About the Author(s):

The National Institute on Aging is part of the National Institutes of Health, which is part of the Federal Government. Scientists at the NIA help to improve the health of older Americans through research. The NIA provides the Alzheimer’s Disease Education and Referral (ADEAR) Center. The Center offers many free booklets, including this guide.

Accreditation Statement:

Professional Development Resources is recognized as a provider of continuing education by the following:
AOTA: American Occupational Therapy Association (#3159)
APA: American Psychological Association
ASWB: Association of Social Work Boards (#1046)
CDR: Commission on Dietetic Registration (#PR001)
NBCC: National Board for Certified Counselors (#5590)
NAADAC: National Association of Alcohol & Drug Abuse Counselors (#00279)
California: Board of Behavioral Sciences (#PCE1625)
Florida: Boards of SW, MFT & MHC (#BAP346); Psychology & School Psychology (#50-1635); Dietetics & Nutrition (#50-1635); Occupational Therapy Practice (#34). PDResources is CE Broker compliant.
Illinois: DPR for Social Work (#159-00531)
Ohio: Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board (#RCST100501)
South Carolina: Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs (#193)
Texas: Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists (#114) & State Board of Social Worker Examiners (#5678)
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Anxiety: Practical Management Techniques

Anxiety: Practical Management Techniques

Click on image to view course webpage

Nearly every client who walks through a health professional’s door is experiencing some form of anxiety. Even if they are not seeking treatment for a specific anxiety disorder, they are likely experiencing anxiety as a side effect of other clinical issues. For this reason, a solid knowledge of anxiety management skills should be a basic component of every therapist’s repertoire. Clinicians who can teach practical anxiety management techniques have tools that can be used in nearly all clinical settings and client diagnoses. Anxiety management benefits the clinician as well, helping to maintain energy, focus, and inner peace both during and between sessions.

The purpose of this continuing education course is to offer a collection of ready-to-use anxiety management tools. 2007 | 41 pages | 30 posttest questions | Course #40-12

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Customer Reviews:

  • “I really liked the course. Very user friendly!” – Kris B. (Counselor)
  • “Thank you for the opportunity to access interesting subject for ceu’s. Your online class information and techniques are practical and easy to apply to the every day therapy.” – Cheryl B. (Occupational Therapist)
  • “Very concrete and helpful course that I can use personally and in my OT pediatric practice” – Anne E.(Occupational Therapist)
  • “I really enjoyed this course. It was a great review of major concepts and provided excellent opportunities to improve and expand best practices.” – Kathleen F. (Social Worker)

CE Credit: 4 Hours (0.4 CEUs)
Target Audience: Psychology Counseling Social-Work Occupational-Therapy Marriage-and-Family
Learning Level: Intermediate
Online Course: $56

Learning Objectives:

  1. Describe two natural bodily functions that serve as powerful and basic tools for anxiety management
  2. Distinguish between the use of anxiety management techniques for prevention and intervention
  3. List and define nine basic categories of anxiety management techniques
  4. Identify at least one specific exercise in each of the nine basic categories of anxiety management techniques
  5. Name ten anxiety management techniques that employ cognitive restructuring as their base
  6. Describe two anxiety management techniques that address the specific disorders of phobia and panic attack

About the Author:

Lisa M. Schab, MSW, LCSW, is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in private practice in Libertyville, Illinois. A graduate of Loyola University School of Social Work, Ms. Schab has specialized in anxiety and depression, blended families, and the treatment and prevention of eating problems and disorders. She has presented a number of professional training seminars and is the author of several books and continuing education courses, among them:

Professional Development Resources is recognized as a provider of continuing education by the following:
AOTA: American Occupational Therapy Association (#3159)
APA: American Psychological Association
ASWB: Association of Social Work Boards (#1046)
CDR: Commission on Dietetic Registration (#PR001)
NBCC: National Board for Certified Counselors (#5590)
NAADAC: National Association of Alcohol & Drug Abuse Counselors (#00279)
California: Board of Behavioral Sciences (#PCE1625)
Florida: Boards of SW, MFT & MHC (#BAP346); Psychology & School Psychology (#50-1635); Dietetics & Nutrition (#50-1635); Occupational Therapy Practice (#34). PDResources is CE Broker compliant.
Illinois: DPR for Social Work (#159-00531)
Ohio: Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board (#RCST100501)
South Carolina: Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs (#193)
Texas: Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists (#114) & State Board of Social Worker Examiners (#5678)
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Multicultural Issues in Counseling

Multicultural Issues in CounselingThis is a web-based course requiring an internet connection to access the required online reading materials. Course instructions provide direct links to the free, public-access online documents and available resources. Based on thorough reviews of the research literature, the first document provides an understanding of the psychological factors underlying racism and the most effective means for counteracting racism on both personal and systemic levels. The next two documents are APA task-force reports, the first entitled Psychology Education and Training from Culture-Specific and Mulitracial Perspectives: Critical Issues and Recommendations and the second entitled Psychological Treatment of Ethnic Minority Populations. These task force reports provide specific cultural information about African-American, Asian American/Pacific Islander, Hispanic/Latino, American Indian, and multiracial populations, as well as recommendations for training and practice related to each group. This course is appropriate for any mental health professional who would like to learn more about diversity and multicultural counseling. Course #40-25 | 2010 | 40 posttest questions | 8 page course download includes instructions, links to online course materials, and posttest questions

CE Credit: 4 Hours (0.4 CEUs)
Target Audience: Psychologists, Counselors, Social Workers, MFTs, OTs, RDs
Learning Level: Intermediate

Learning Objectives:

  1. Describe the psychological principles behind the formation of prejudice.
  2. Identify effective methods for changing prejudiced attitudes.
  3. Describe culturally competent education and training for conducting mental health services with African-American, Asian American/Pacific Islander, Hispanic/Latino, and American Indian populations.
  4. Identify factors related to cultural competence when providing mental health services for African-American, Asian American/Pacific Islander, Hispanic/Latino, and American Indian populations.

About the Author(s):

The American Psychological Association (APA), located in Washington, D.C., is a professional organization with more than 150,000 members, including researchers, educators, clinicians, consultants, and students. All the documents on which this course is based were compiled and written by members of the American Psychological Association. Full lists of authors are available in the documents.

Accreditations:

Professional Development Resources is recognized as a provider of continuing education by the following:
AOTA: American Occupational Therapy Association (#3159)
APA: American Psychological Association
ASWB: Association of Social Work Boards (#1046)
CDR: Commission on Dietetic Registration (#PR001)
NBCC: National Board for Certified Counselors (#5590)
NAADAC: National Association of Alcohol & Drug Abuse Counselors (#00279)
California: Board of Behavioral Sciences (#PCE1625)
Florida: Boards of SW, MFT & MHC (#BAP346); Psychology & School Psychology (#50-1635); Dietetics & Nutrition (#50-1635); Occupational Therapy Practice (#34). PDResources is CE Broker compliant.
Illinois: DPR for Social Work (#159-00531)
Ohio: Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board (#RCST100501)
South Carolina: Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs (#193)
Texas: Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists (#114) & State Board of Social Worker Examiners (#5678)

Autism Subtypes, Feeding Issues and Nutrition – Updated & Renewed

Autism Subtypes, Feeding Issues & NutritionOne of our most popular continuing education courses, Autism Subtypes, Feeding Issues & Nutrition Considerations, was recently updated and renewed by the continuing education board of the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA). ASHA credit is now valid until August 21, 2013!

This course details the symptoms and subtypes of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), describes developmental and behavioral issues, outlines assessment and diagnostic considerations, and briefly reviews the literature on the efficacy of various treatment approaches.

It also outlines common GI problems and feeding difficulties in autism, exploring the empirical data and/or lack thereof regarding any links between GI disorders and autism. Sections on feeding difficulties offer interventions and behavior change techniques.

A final section on nutritional considerations discusses unusual food preferences or sensitivities, growth and weight concerns, and food allergies and sensitivities with an objective look at the science and theory behind a variety of nutrition interventions.

Course #30-32 | 2010 | 45 pages | 30 posttest questions

On Sale for Only $32! (regular $42)

This course is offered for .3 ASHA CEUs (Intermediate level, Professional area). ASHA credit expires 8/21/2013.

This course is also approved for Psychologists, Counselors, Social Workers, MFTs, Registered Dietitians and Occupational Therapists: http://www.pdresources.org/CourseDetail.aspx?Category=AllCourses&PageNumber=1&Profession=Other&Sort=CourseName&Text=30-32&courseid=947

APA Task Force Reports on Girls and Women – New Online CE Course

CE Credit: 3 Hours (0.3 CEUs)
Target Audience: Psychology Counseling Social-Work Marriage-and-Family
Learning Level: Intermediate

Course Abstract:

APA Task Force Reports on Girls & WomenThis course is based on a collection of free, public-access task force reports from the American Psychological Association on issues pertaining to women. The course instructions included with this course will provide direct links to the online documents. The first report describes guidelines for psychological practice with girls and women, the second addresses the behavioral healthcare needs of rural women, and the third pertains to the sexualization of girls in the media. These reports were based on thorough reviews of the research literature, and include implications and recommendations for action. This course is appropriate for any mental health professional who works with women or girls. Course #30-51 | 2010 | 39 posttest questions

Learning Objectives:

  1. Identify issues relevant to mental health practice with women and girls.
  2. Describe and apply practice guidelines for mental health treatment of women and girls.
  3. Identify mental health concerns relevant to rural women.
  4. Describe the sexualization of girls in the media, the impacts of these practices, and methods for counteracting the effects.

About the Author(s):

The American Psychological Association (APA), located in Washington, D.C., is a professional organization with more than 150,000 members, including researchers, educators, clinicians, consultants, and students. All four documents on which this course is based were compiled and written by members of the American Psychological Association. Full lists of authors are available in the documents.

Accreditation Statement:

Professional Development Resources is recognized as a provider of continuing education by the following:
APA: American Psychological Association
ASWB: Association of Social Work Boards (#1046)
NBCC: National Board for Certified Counselors (#5590)
NAADAC: National Association of Alcohol & Drug Abuse Counselors (#00279)
California: Board of Behavioral Sciences (#PCE1625)
Florida: Boards of SW, MFT & MHC (#BAP346); Psychology & School Psychology (#50-1635); Dietetics & Nutrition (#50-1635); Occupational Therapy Practice (#34). PDResources is CE Broker compliant.
Illinois: DPR for Social Work (#159-00531)
Ohio: Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board (#RCST100501)
South Carolina: Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs (#193)
Texas: Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists (#114) & State Board of Social Worker Examiners (#5678)

Wisconsin Social Work Continuing Education Requirements

Wisconsin-licensed Social Workers are required to obtain 30 hours of continuing education every 2 years for license renewal. The renewal period runs from March 1st to February 28th of odd years. A minimum of 20 hours must be in facilitated workshops, which must include 4 hours of Ethics and Boundaries. This includes workshops, in-service training, live teleconferences or web classes with an instructor and peer interaction.

Social Workers may earn up to 10 continuing education hours through self-study. Self-study includes audio programs and self-directed online classes. Ethics and Boundaries credits may not be earned through self-study classes. The Joint Board of Marriage & Family Therapy, Professional Counseling & Social Work Examining accepts self-study courses offered by ASWB-ACE approved providers.

Professional Development Resources is approved as a provider of continuing education for social workers by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB Provider #1046, ACE Program). Over 150 online and mail order home study CE courses available @ https://www.pdresources.org/Index.aspx.